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Brussels: 26 People Reportedly Killed and 35 Others Seriously Injured at Zaventem Airport

Two explosions have hit the Brussels Zaventem airport, killing up to 13 people and injuring dozens, hospital sources told local media.

Shortly after the airport blasts on Tuesday morning, an explosion also struck at a metro station in the centre of the Belgian capital, close to European Union institutions.

Footage from the airport - the country’s largest showed people running from the terminal building as plumes of smoke rose to the sky.

The powerful blasts caused parts of the ceiling to fall down and windows were shattered.

Explosions ripped through the departure hall at Brussels airport.

All metro lines were shut down after the attacks. Some witnesses at the Maelbeek said people with blood on their faces were seen at the scene. There were conflicting reports on casualties, with Belgian media reporting several deaths.

Ian McCafferty, a witness at the station, said the blast happened during busy rush hour traffic.

"People started running when they saw smoke coming," he said. "The point of these attacks is to make you live in fear but I refuse to."

The interior ministry raised the country’s terror alert to the highest level after the blasts and Brussels crisis centre told people, "Stay where you are".

State broadcaster VRT reported that a suicide bomber had detonated explosives at the airport.

The metro system was closed down after the attacks.

According to new agency said shots were fired before the explosions went off.

Local media reported that the blasts happened near the American Airlines as hundreds of people were checking in.

Neave Barker on Aljazeera live stream, reporting from the airport, said there were dozens of ambulances at the scene and police were clearing the area of stranded passengers, some in shock.

"An eyewitness of the attack told us that he heard loud explosions and as he heard it, he took cover. He said the explosions were very loud and it was the most frightening moment of his life," our correspondent said.

The country had been on high alert since the arrest in Brussels last week of Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect in last year’s Paris attacks that left 130 people dead.

Belgium’s interior minister, Jan Jambon, said on Monday the country was aware of the risk of a possible revenge attack following the capture of 26-year-old Abdeslam.

"We know that stopping one cell can ... push others into action. We are aware of it in this case," he told public radio.

By Robert Muriisa via Aljazeera.

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